Monday, May 16, 2011

Evangelicalism is Intellectually . . . AND Morally Bankrupt

It's back to the ole-cynical Mike. It happens everytime.

Once a years, so it has become a tradition, that I have an extended time with my extended family. This means my siblings, their children, my mom, my aunt and etc. It has become somewhat of a blended family when it comes to theological orientation . . . or lack of. I mean in this case, there is a part of the family who is on staff with a famous televangelist. I won't say who, because it could cost this family member their job.

Other family members, including some from the same branch as the televangelist members, are more comfortable with Hooters, strip joints and a long association with avoiding church at all cost. Yet, this diversity is not so pronounced. All of us share the same Southern Baptist roots. The Bible-belt Christianity, which I've alluded to many times, is . . . well, a game. So, when you get this mixed crowd together, depending on which group dominates by number, thus goes the conversation. The Hooters crowd is very comfortable talking "Baptist" when such dominates the mood. Likewise the Televangelist crowd can, chameleon-like, speak a little raunchy when the mood so dictates.

My cynical point is the evening that the Televangelists took control. What happened was that the family member, which works for the famous TV evangelist, had visitors from back home. They were nice people . . . and I sincerely mean that. All three were Evangelists and worked closely with their more famous counterpart. But what was disturbing was the conversation, which I heard during the evening, that left me with the feeling that Evangelicalism is about in the same moral fortitude as the Qaddafi regime.

First of all, the three were traveling through on their way to a natural supplement convention. The convention, so I understand, is where they preach Jesus and sell cancer-curing natural supplements. This is a big money maker for them. Lots of testimonials of people who threw away their chemotherapy and other medical treatments for their cancer, and bought their supplements because this is what Jesus would want them to do. Now, if these evangelist actually believe those "cures" then their failure is being stupid. But I think it is worse than that. I think they know in their hearts that they are selling snake-oil. This makes them murderers. Murder for money. Disgusting! Being snake-oil salesmen is really the oldest profession, not prostitution.

The next thing I heard was in response to the TV blaring in the background (actually, it gave me something to look and listen to so I could avoid hearing more things that would upset me). The news showed Obama making a speech. The one member of the Televangelist crowd said something that made my hair curl. "Someone should have assassinated that man a long time ago."

I turned to them in total disbelief. "I can't believe you could say something like that."

A few minutes later, after a Sponge Bob commercial aired, I got a long lecture about the show. You see, so I learned, that Sponge Bob was created by two "flaming homoooosexuals" who actually created it for a gay, adult TV channel. The show is full of constant symbolism. Bob himself, as they told me, is a vaginal barrier sponge (contraceptive). A couple of the characters apparently wear condoms as hats. Much of the narrative is metaphor for the delights of gay sex. According to them, a deliberate decision was made to air the show on kids' TV to recruit more kids to be gay.
I felt like I was talking to the Taliban. Maybe very little daylight stands between the two groups.


Recovering Alumni said...

Wow, just wow.

trevor said...

I never cease to be amazed that the characters you describe are real people, not caricatures.

Jaimie said...

I have people like this in my life. Needless to say, I take my anxiety meds just after interacting with them. (It never occurs to me to take them during. During, I only ever want a stiff drink.)

jmj said...

I seem to regret making these posts, as it sounds like I'm always ranting. I came back this morning to delete it before anyone saw it. But with comments, I'll leave it up.

I think this kind of talk hits a sensitive nerve with me and that's why I notice it. These are real people with real comments. After they left I brought up to my immediate family what I had heard. Most of them hadn't noticed. My son, did, so I know my ears weren't playing games with me.

I wish I had had a stiff drink.

I think if you grew up in the Bible belt and were around people who work on Trinity Broadcasting Network, comments like this would cease to amaze you because it is so much of their culture.

Anonymous said...

I never cease to be amazed that the characters you describe are real people, not caricatures. -- Trevor

"The difference between reality and fiction is fiction has to make sense." -- attr to Mark Twain

I seem to regret making these posts, as it sounds like I'm always ranting.

These days, I'm only able to maintain through regular massive doses of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. Go to YouTube, search on "mlp episode (number 1-26)," and view the 22-minute versions. That's what's keeping me sane these days.

Headless Unicorn Guy

Anonymous said...

I don't see how the idiotic Spongebob theory could upset you. Its idiotic, of course. But so what. Homosexuality is a perversion. I have no problem with opposition to it. But when you start seeing a homosexual agenda in every cartoon, either (1) you are insane, or (2) you are a closet homo yourself who can't see anything but homosexual undertones in everything you watch.

So the question is, which of the two is the case with these guys? Are they insane? or are the homosexuals themselves? Probably they will molest some children in their churches and it will come out that they are homosexuals. (Then they'll blame it on having watched too much Spongebob.)